One thing about Chicago is that we love our heroes and Brian Urlacher was definitely one of them. When the news broke that he wasn’t being re-signed, I had to believe that no one was more heartbroken than Brian. I myself became nauseous reading the report because I have firsthand knowledge of how much this man loves football.
Now, I know that’s not a reason to re-sign someone — because the fact of the matter is, like all businesses, it’s a business. They made an offer based on their opinion of his future performance. It didn’t match what he knows he can do. Sadly, this happens to a lot of great players. Joe Montana had to finish his career with the Chiefs and Jerry Rice with the Seahawks, and Peyton Manning, a four-time MVP with the Colts, is now a Bronco.
I have learned personally over 20 years in show business to not take things personally because it’s a numbers game. That’s it. But when it comes to our heroes in sports, and when we have a history with someone who was the face of a franchise, we have a harder time seeing them go. I can’t imagine going to Bears games next season and not seeing the majority of the stadium proudly wearing their No. 54 jerseys.
There were some negative comments from fans and columnists about a quote earlier in the season where Brian said he “didn’t care about the fans,” which left some people very bitter. I think his fan comment was taken out of context. I believe he was trying to defend Lovie during a losing streak and it came out wrong. Last summer, everywhere I went with Brian, he stopped and signed every autograph and took pictures with fans. He loved the fans as much as he loved football.
When he is done, they will have Brian Urlacher Day and make a big presentation. When he makes the Hall of Fame, they will retire his jersey. He will definitely get and deserves a proper send-off.
Thank you for being Chicago’s Hulk and I hope you get to go smash the hell out of those young boys and show them what our future Hall of Famer still has in him.